Evil Knievil: Some sagas seem to go on forever

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Evil Knievil: Some sagas seem to go on forever
Master Investor Magazine 40 cover

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Some sagas seem to go on forever. I am here thinking of Clear Leisure (LON:CLP). It was eventually determined by Italian courts that CLP had a 2.7 million euro first charge on some 500,000 square meters of undeveloped land close to Turin. Accordingly, an auctioneer was instructed to accept a bid. The auction was to be completed on 25th July.

I expected that it would be conducted in a heaving local theatre. But in fact, bids were to be submitted by hand/post to the auctioneer the night before by 10.00 p.m.

25th July was the CLP’s AGM and, since I was attending, I asked the chairman Francesco Guerin to contact the auctioneer by phone during the AGM and give us a live count down of the buzzing success. I declared to Francesco that his well-known (for so I claimed) sense of theatre demanded nothing less. He is a quiet fellow and denied thespian skills and pointed out that the bidding had ceased.

The following day it transpired that there had been only one bid and this was at the minimum amount – about 1.7 million euros.

I thought no more about it. I had not been there. And there was nothing to be done.

You may imagine my surprise when a few days later it emerged that CLP’s Italian lawyers advised that there are grounds to challenge the auctioneer’s conduct since, CLP claims, he could have assigned the land to CLP.

Does it ever stop?

However, the Serbian bitcoin mining operation seems to be coming along and Francesco is a clever fellow and may develop the application of blockchain technology. He seems to think he can. We may yet get to my original 3p target.

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